Thursday, May 30, 2013

A Nomad's Guide to Minimalism

I've settled back into my apartment, the mess has returned, and the livin' is slightly easy if you ignore the fact that I am working and going to summer school full time. The mess mind you is much smaller than it has been in the past because I've brought very few things back with me.

One thing I have done in light of recent nomadic happenings has been to lighten my load.

Last year around this time, I was in full nest mode, placing knick-nacks and frames in every nook of my apartment. Though comforting, it made for a difficult move. This year I have taken a more minimalist approach to living. I have some shelves, a futon, my clothes in baskets, and a small Turkish rug. Besides a few pictures of friends and family, I am relatively item free. In combination with my bare white walls, my minimalist style could seem boring. But it's actually quite cozy, with the added benefit of little packing on my part.

I'll be moving every four months for the next five years. Over time I'm sure my possessions will change, growing and shrinking with the size of my carry on bags. Because of this, I'm focusing more on collecting stories, moments, and if I must property that's portable. I don't need anything weighing me down.


Friday, May 3, 2013

Warning: Baggage May Appear Lighter Than It Really Is

One of the main difficulties of nomadic living is "stuff". Having just witnessed one of the strangest winters North Dakota has ever seen, it was nearly impossible for me to repack my clothes. My coat, sweaters, boots, and warm clothing had managed to breed and multiply in my closet during my co-op. Even worst, I was returning to warm sunny 70-80 degree weather, so it made no sense to wear my bulkiest clothing.

So I did two things:

Donate- Though I had only packed enough clothes to get me through 4 months of an arctic winter, there were still plenty of clothes that I either didn't wear or was just sick of looking at. These I folded into a bag and donated to the nearest thriftstore. If I had more time, I might have tried a consignment shop so I could have at least made some money back.

FedEx- Mailing made sense not only for bulky clothing that would weigh down my luggage, but also for bedding, furniture, souvenirs, and knick-nacks that were too big for my carry on.

Other than the fact that I was unable to mail my things because FedEx was closed and am still waiting for my roommate to mail the boxes, this was a pretty good method. I was still able to fit plenty in my luggage without going over the airline's weight limit.

Now the next challenge will be packing my summer bags.